MLB moves Pirates-Marlins series from Puerto Rico due to Zika
MLB has moved the Marlins-Pirates series from Puerto Rico due to concerns over the Zika virus, the league announced today.
The Marlins and Pirates were scheduled to meet in San Juan on May 30 and 31.
Commissioner Rob Manfred allowed players to choose if they wanted to participate in the game. The number of players who declined was so high there would not have been enough regulars to play.
The CDC has issued a Level 2 Alert for Zika in Puerto Rico. As of Wednesday, Puerto Rico had confirmed 638 cases of the virus.
The U.S. territory was hoping not to lose the baseball games.
“It's an outrageous situation,” Rep. Angel Matos, head of the tourism commission for Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this week. “The reality is that this cancellation is unfair, disproportionate, and makes our country look bad. It's an act of touristic terrorism.”
New York Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran chimed in on the situation in his home country.
"This is something that will affect Puerto Rico,” he told ESPN. “People were really looking forward to the series and to have the opportunity to attend Major League Baseball games in Puerto Rico. We all know that Puerto Rico is going through a very difficult time and this is basically just another low blow for the island. I don't what is the rate of people infected with the virus in Puerto Rico, compared with Florida, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other places where the Zika virus has been found. But at the end of the day, MLB and the people who have made this decision must have their reasons."